Haymarket Welcomes New Midwest Candle Company
The midwest-based Wax Buffalo Pure Soy Candle Co. opened their first flagship store in the heart of the Haymarket last month. Even if you’ve never heard the name, you’ve probably seen the signature candles—they’re emblazoned with an “X” logo, found in 70 boutiques across the country, and always worth a smell.
Owner Alicia Reisinger said deciding to put the flagship store in Lincoln’s Haymarket district was a nod to her early days of candle making—she’d grown up buying supplies from small Haymarket shops with her grandmother. She also works across the street at Archrival, a Lincoln-based marketing agency (believe it or not, Wax Buffalo is her side hustle.)
“We also live close, so we can walk here,” she said. “So I really picked it on personal preference and hoped that it will grow around us a little bit. Lots of good things are happening in downtown Lincoln.”
The small shop at 727 O Street has shelves of candles as well as homegoods and skincare curated from some of Reisinger’s favorite small businesses. “The concept of the store is things curated for the modern home and the modern woman,” she said.
Many of the shop’s goods are maker-based, like the Camp Cocktail kits, a women-owned cocktail kit company, or Jacobsen Salt, a family-run business out in Portland.
“They harvest all of the salt out there, and we fell in love with that company when we were traveling,” Reisinger said. “So everything in here is basically things that I use or I have bumped into in traveling. I wanted to bring stuff in that wasn’t here in Lincoln.”
A small space off to the side of the front room draws your eye to the words “Collaboration Over Competition” on the wall. Reisinger has big plans for the room.
“About two years ago, we ended up moving out of my kitchen and into the back of a store,” she said. “We were just pouring wax back there but then the owner let us sell our candles out in the front, and she ran the store for us. It was such a gift. I think about the fact that as a new maker, I never could have walked into a $2,000 rent.”
Reisinger wants to pay it forward. The space in Wax Buffalo will be rentable for $500 a month for any small maker wanting to sell their craft in a brick and mortar store.
“So if you’re making earrings, and you’ve always wanted to have a store, and there’s no way that you can afford to rent in Lincoln, we want to be the place for you,” she said. “Then also, being in the store every day, you can’t do your craft. So we’ll just run the selling for you, and you can try having a store.”
Eventually, Reisinger hopes to host pop-ups of makers from outside of Lincoln, too, bringing in goods from people in California or New York City to Nebraska. The space is also available for events and get-togethers, from collaborations with local breweries to candle-making parties taught by Reisinger.